Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Why Labour need Jeremy Corbyn as their Leader.

A month since the general election and the contest for Labour leader is heating up.
When the first four candidates were announced, I groaned at the thought of labour sharply moving back to the right with no proper consideration for what went wrong at the general election. The general assumption seemed to be that because Ed Miliband was supposedly too left wing they needed to re-ignite blairism in the hope of attracting that holy grail of voters. The "squeezed middle" in the south of England. Forgetting of course that they lost a lot of seats to an anti-austerity party in Scotland. Although I will concede that Miliband was certainly to the left of Tony Blair, was he actually that left wing?

Well if you believed the right wing media you'd be forgiven for thinking he was a rabid Marxist. In reality he promised austerity, backed academies, still wanted a role for the private sector in the NHS and promised to be just as tough on welfare as the Tories. So now when you look at that you think what do Labour actually stand for? And that was their problem in a nutshell. No clear narrative.

Anyway back to the candidates themselves, lets see where they stand. Liz Kendall believes Labour should be "reformists" and be "economically credible" and back austerity and welfare cuts. After researching Mary Creagh, I found out that she pushed the last Labour government to make school food healthier, supports HS2 and wants Labour to learn from what Blair did to win them elections. Yvette Cooper worked in the treasury under the last Labour Government and like Andy Burnham believes Labour should back "Aspiration" and not be too anti-business and encourage enterprise and business to grow. So far one staunch right-winger, A person that doesn't stand for much and two candidates standing for meaningless vacuous phrases.

However the last candidate to throw their hat in the ring was Jeremy Corbyn. Lets see what he stands for. Anti austerity, anti privatisation, pro public ownership of the railways and NHS and anti trident. Whatever your political views, you can't deny that Corbyn is the only candidate that puts clear distance between Labour and the Tories and the only one that seems to have any staunch principles. Offer a clear alternative and people will listen. The British public aren't that hostile to some of the things Corbyn stands for. For instance, there is quite a lot of support for public ownership of the railways.

And yes I am a Green Party member and I'll continue to vote green until another party offers a clear alternative to the Conservatives. Labour don't at the moment but if Corbyn becomes leader, I will look to see where he takes Labour and may vote for them in future but for now, lets hope he at least gets on the ballot.

So to sum up, I urge  the Labour MPs that haven't nominated anyone yet, please nominate Corbyn. As I type this he has the support of 11 MPs. He needs 35 to be on the ballot paper. And to anyone reading this, please also urge Labour MPs to back Jeremy Corbyn. They have until the 15th June to nominate a candidate. If nothing else, he could offer a real debate within the leadership race to what otherwise could be a very dull and samey affair that will do nothing to get people onside with Labour.